Name Details - FamilyEducation

Meaning and Origin of: Ward

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First name origins & meanings:

  • Old English : Gatekeeper
  • English : Protector of the home
  • English : To guard, watchman

Last name origin & meaning:

  • English : occupational name for a watchman or guard, from Old English weard ‘guard’ (used as both an agent noun and an abstract noun).
  • Irish : reduced form of McWard, an Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac an Bhaird ‘son of the poet’. The surname occurs throughout Ireland, where three different branches of the family are known as professional poets.
  • Surname adopted by bearers of the Jewish surname Warshawski, Warshawsky or some other Jewish name bearing some similarity to the English name.
  • Americanized form of French Guerin.
  • The surname Ward was brought to North America from England independently by several different bearers in the 17th and 18th centuries. Nathaniel Ward (1578–1652), author of the MA legal code, was born in Haverhill, Suffolk, England, and emigrated to Agawam (Ipswich, MA) in 1633. William Ward was one of the original settlers of Sudbury, MA, in about 1638. Miles Ward came from England to Salem, MA, in about 1639. Thomas Ward (d. 1689) settled in Newport, RI, in 1671; among his descendants were two governors of colonial RI.